Hi reader,


I have come across an interesting medical research report recently (please do not ask how and why, and I can confirm I do have a life outside of cycling). The report describes results of a study of muscle regeneration through physical activities. Muscle cells are unique because just like heart or brain cells, the process of regeneration/cell division is very rare. With the passing time, muscle cells "wear" down. However, there is a way to delay this process.

The research team divided volunteers into two age groups (18-30 years and 65-80 years), and each age group was further divided into three sub-groups (interval training on the bike, strength training with weights in the gym, and interval training + strength training).

Volunteers practicing interval training on the bike got the best results in muscle cells regeneration which was tested by biopsy from their thigh muscles! High-intensity walking or running, or similar cardiovascular exercises had a similar regeneration affect. Interval training does not improve muscle strength, it only happens with strength training but the latter does not trigger regeneration of muscle cells.

Younger cycling volunteers (18-30 years) gained a 50% increase in the capacity of their mitochondria (energy sources in cells) while older volunteers (65-80 years) gained a whopping 70% increase in their cell mitochondria!

Now you have it scientifically confirmed, gruelling cycling is good for you and for your muscles regardless of the age! High-intensity low-volume training was designed 15-20 years ago for so-called time crunched cyclists but besides the performance aspect it clearly also has other benefits.

Cyclopark Training

Speaking about the training, Lee Staples has organised and is running the first training session of 2017 at Cyclopark in Gravesend on Saturday between 12.00 and 15.00. The focus will be on core cycling techniques such as cornering, group riding and leading. It is a great session for riders just beginning and/or wanting to improve their existing skills. The track is traffic-free, has great facilities and it is free of charge for members. If you have not done it before, we strongly encourage you take part if you can. If you have any questions, please email Lee at coach@gsavanti.co.uk.

Lee also organises Tuesday Group Rides meeting at the Green every Tuesday at 19.30.  This is a mix ability group riding and good lights are required.

Kit Shop

We have extended the shop opening hours until Tuesday next week so that members have time to browse through the kit shop website (password is avanti321) and place their orders. The order delivery is expected in the second half of May. Kalas (an official kit provider for British Cycling) added new items to the shop from their 2017 collection (e.g. professional summer jerseys). If you have any questions, please email me at kit@gsavanti.co.uk. We also have a stock of caps, socks, arm warmers and gloves in Avanti colours available in all sizes.

Club Meeting

There will be a club meeting on Monday 24th April at 20.00, most likely in a nice Chelsfield pub. The location will be confirmed closer to the date. The meeting is open to all members and the more members we get, the better. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss club rides and ride leading. This is the activity which is in the core of our club, and the meeting will look at what we expect from group rides, group riding skills, mix of routes, start times, etc. We have received a lot of feedback on club ride experiences, and this meeting is a forum to discuss different views and opinions.

Friday & Weekend Club Rides

There will be an Easter Friday ride setting off from the Green at 8am for those who are not around for weekend rides. It will be a 40-miler led by the Clarkes. Please indicate your attendance on the website.

There will be also a usual early morning Saturday ride (a ride leader is required otherwise members will organise themselves subject to the number and the mix of the group). Please indicate your interest on the web.

We are also planning on having usual Sunday rides so keep your eyes on the website for updates, groups and routes.

Easter stuff

Enjoy your Easter chocolate, Easter egg hunts, Easter food, Easter television broadcasting, Easter garden parties, Easter shopping and maybe even some Easter cycling on the side!